Carol Smokler, a psychologist and philanthropist who greatly contributed to the New Orleans relief effort, was interviewed by Jayne Guberman on August 13th, 2007. A long-time activist for Jewish causes, she has worked with Hillel, the Federation, UJC, the JCC and others, in addition to raising three children in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This interview focuses on her extensive work with the Emergency Relief Committee on Katrina aid, particularly their community partnerships and the decision-making process for allocating their $28 million of funds. Highlights include descriptions of her conference at the White House with President Bush, the importance of mental health services, and detailed explanations of aid operations.
This oral history was conducted for "Katrina's Jewish Voices," a joint project by the Jewish Women's Archive partnered with the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) to capture the voices and experiences of members of the Jewish communities of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast communities during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. For more information, see katrina.jwa.org/about#about-oral-history.
Video equipment was not available, so this interview is audio-only (with transcript).